Pencek’s Picks: Draft Style
After months, of analysis and mock draft version 2.0 which was later supplanted by mock draft version 5.689546 (yes I just randomly punched in some numbers on the keyboard for that) Draft Day has arrived. The Eagles are looking to jump start the franchise and return to at least the Donovan McNabb days when playing in the NFC Championship Game was basically a lock. At this point the Ravens and Redskins are much closer to having a deep run in the playoffs than the Eagles. Whoever lands in Baltimore, that player will fill an immediate need as well as be part of a long term plan. Picking at 21, the Redskins plan at 8:00 pm might not be the plan at 10:00 pm as the draft progresses.
Eagles: General Manager Howie Roseman channeled his inner Sonny Weaver and traded a bundle of draft picks to move up for the purpose of taking a franchise quarterback. For his job security and the sanity of Eagles fans, Roseman better hope that this quarterback is better than Bo Callahan. It was not quite a scorched earth that Chip Kelly left behind in Philadelphia, but his mismanagement of the roster left the Eagles without a play maker at wide receiver and running back. Their current quarterbacks are serviceable. Roseman is thinking long term. While every team covets a franchise quarterback, few actually have one. Roseman is banking that either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz is a franchise quarterback. Pencek’s Pick: The Rams have the first overall selection and the consensus is that Goff is heading to Los Angeles meaning Wentz better brush up on the lyrics to “Fly Eagles Fly.”
Ravens: Upgrading Joe Flacco’s protection or securing the next great Ravens linebacker., General Manager Ozzie Newsome will make the franchise’s first pick inside the top ten since 2000. Whether it is Ohio State linebacker Joey Bosa or Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, the Ravens will have an impact player. If it were not for the multiple injuries last season, I believe the Ravens would have been a playoff team in 2015. With those players coming back and with this draft pick, the Ravens are poised to reclaim the AFC North title. Pencek’s Pick: Since the franchise relocated to Baltimore, defense has been its calling card. The thought of Bosa coming in just as Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil begin to wind down their careers is appealing. Bosa to Baltimore.
Redskins: The reward for winning the NFC East, selecting in the lower third of this year’s draft. The Redskins won with their passing game. Good thing because the defense was ranked 28th in the NFL last season. General Manager Scott McCloughan made a move to upgrade that side of the ball last week by signing free agent cornerback Josh Norman. If the Redskins keep this pick, look for them to beef up the defensive line by taking Alabama’s Jarran Reed. At 6’4″ and 313 pounds, Reed will take on blockers and open the lanes for the pass rushers. Pencek’s Pick: However, and to be bold, I see the Redskins trading this pick to Cleveland. While passing up the opportunity to take a franchise quarterback by trading out of the second overall position, the Browns still need a quarterback. Somebody like Michigan State’s Connor Cook could still be available at 21. The Browns do have a large number of draft picks the next three seasons that can be used to obtain this pick from the Redskins.